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Monday, March 10, 2008


For the first time since I can't remember...

... I had a great weekend just playing boardgames. To add icing on the cake, next weekend is the Brimfrost game convention in Anchorage. Wooohooo.

Played La Citta for the first time, I bought it 3 years ago. Played Tigris and Euphrates (my favorite game) for the first time in a year or more. Had a blast playing Rattlesnake and Zooloretto with a mixed group of kids and adults. Tried Kingsburg with hidden scoring, and must admit that this twist improves the game immensely. Played Fire and Axe for the second time (the first time since BGG.con). And I played a couple other games that evade me at the moment.

La Citta is a long out-of-print game that by every measure is a game I should love. My Geekbuddies rate it highly, and the BGG recommendations tool predicts that I should love it. I liked it. La Citta is a game of expanding your cities, all the while having to keep close tabs on your population, food, money, city improvements, and your opponents cities which may steal your population away.

I've read the rules to La Citta several times over the years, but getting my head around the game took one play and will probably take two. Implementing a solid strategy will come later. It is a solid optimization game involving a little luck, and quite a bit of tactics and strategy. I could grow to love it. Right now I'll give it an eight.

Kingsburg was a disappointment when I first played it. I had read some reviews, read the rules, and thought it sounded like a pretty fun, but light game. After playing and commiserating my disappointment I wondered if hidden scoring might put the game over the top into the realm of decent games. It did help.

Most of a player's score is easily calculated by adding up the victory points of the buildings he has built. However, the game is won or lost by the few points that are earned through other means, such as choosing the Joker or Queen, or having the most buildings at different stages of the game. Open scoring just makes this light game a little too long and a little too heavy as people eye-ball the score and try to eek out a point here and there.

Kingsburg is just too light of a game to agonize over. Hidden scoring helps immensely.

We played a couple rules wrong on Fire and Axe, but I still found this Ameritrash/Euro hybrid to be a good game. Gameplay and game aesthetics are weighted toward the Ameritrash end of the spectrum, yet the game is not burdened with randomness and player interaction is minimal. Another solid game.

The Boy and I have been playing this new game, Chess. Might want to give it a shot?
There are always hangers-on who prefer their Edsel.
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